WSJ writes that for a soaring Google, the next act will not be as easy.
There are growing signs that Google is finished with the easy stuff. Its attempts to search other information — starting with books, TV and scholarly works — promise to be more costly and time-consuming than the simple Web searches that propelled its first years of growth.
For starters, what Google wants to do will be more labor-intensive. Its Web searches have been mostly automated, keeping staffing down and profit margins fat. Now it may have to undertake the costly conversion of older TV programs and other material into digital form, although new material is increasingly available digitally. It has already begun employing humans to screen content such as video for objectionable material.
More problematic is the issue of copyrights. As Google moves onto turf where companies are more protective of their intellectual property, it faces the prospect of getting sued or slogging through negotiations with thousands of rights holders.